Even some Memphis Police Officers say they’re hesitant to live in the city limits

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It's a hot button topic. Should new Memphis employees, including police officers and fighters, be required to live in the city limits?

Right now, new hires can live anywhere in Shelby County.

WREG found out why employees, even police officers, are hesitant to live where they work.

Mike Williams with the Memphis Police Association said although he lives in the city, even he is having second thoughts.

"I live a little further out East and even that, I am considering moving because it's slowly creeping out," he said.

Williams said a lot of officers don't want to live in the city because of the homicide rate and gang problems.

"Because at some point, I have to consider my family and I've worked hard all my life so I'm not going to let anybody restrict me where I can live," he said.

Director Mike Rallings said the bottom line is the city has to come up with ways to recruit officers.

The department is currently short hundreds of officers.

There is talk about implementing something similar to the Officer Next Door Program that was in place before.

"I would rather incentivize living in the city of Memphis for instance. The mayor just passed a $10,000 down payment assistance program," Rallings explained.

Rallings also said he's considering a limited take home vehicle program.

"When I bought that home in the Whitehaven area, I was given a marked police car, and parked it outside. The kids loved it," Rallngs said.